Posts published in November, 2018
BY MELISSA BURNS
Of course, your choice of college major should be primarily dictated by your own attitudes and preferences – no matter how prestigious a vocation you pursue, if you hate every minute of it and aren’t predisposed to this kind of work in the first place, it isn’t worth it. But if you don’t feel an aversion to it, engineering can be an excellent choice – and now more than ever. Here are five reasons why you should consider choosing it as your major.
1. It pays
Engineering specialists are among the most well-paid jobs on the market, and the demand for them is only going to grow in the years to come. According to a 2015 study by Forbes, a starting salary in the sphere of electrical engineering was on average $57,000. On obtaining sufficient experience and additional training, an engineer can more than double this initial figure. Of course, studying engineering is tough and requires many sacrifices, but financial gains more than compensate for this.
2. It changes the world
Engineers deal with real-world problems, fixing the things that don’t work, improving the processes that aren’t as efficient as they can be and inventing things that haven’t existed before. They are at the forefront of the future, and the sphere of application of their skills is incredibly broad. From precision CNC machining to harnessing new sources of energy, from inventing new building methods to dealing with pollution problems – engineers have a hand in all this and more. If the idea of playing an active role in the formation of the world around you appeals to you, engineering may be the right choice.
3. It means steady employment
Engineers have some of the lowest unemployment rates across all industries. While many other specialists struggle to find an entry-level job when out of school, engineers have an excellent chance of landing a well-paying position and good opportunities for career growth later on. Engineers are in demand across the whole world – combined with the knowledge of foreign languages it can mean a versatile career not limited to a single country.
4. It means great potential for gaining a leadership position
33 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs claim to have some kind of undergraduate engineering degree – the highest percentage of all majors, topping even business administration that is seemingly more logical in this position. From the very beginning of the career, an engineer may expect to be responsible for projects and teams, which provides the necessary experience to start one’s own business later or join the senior management of a company.
5. It is good for those who are not sure what they are good at
If you have a reasonable level of proficiency in mathematics and science but no real passion for anything, in particular, engineering can serve as a good stepping-stone for many a future career. Many of the courses necessary for engineering also suit other courses (in case you want to switch to them), plus you are going to study a lot of things that will teach you skills that will come in handy in a variety of careers – for example, economics, communication, business studies and so on. And chances are that engineering will grow upon you as you study it and see what excellent opportunities it opens up in front of you.
Engineering is one of the most respected and well-paid vocations; it opens one a road to leadership positions and guarantees steady employment throughout life. If you are not sure what you want to do with your life, you can do much worse than choosing it as your career path.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at email@example.com
BY SHAHINA PARVIN
You may be a law student, wishing to prepare for a career – or you may just love watching reruns of “Law and Order” (enough to want a career out of it as well). However, you should know that getting a degree in law is not as easy as it may seem.
However, there are certain things that you may be able to do in college in order to set the stage for your career. You just have to be determined enough to do so. Here are a few tips to get yourself started.
- Study and Gain Knowledge
It may seem obvious, but not many students focus on their studies while they are in college. After all, there are so many committees to join, and so many parties to attend. Plus, you’ll never be this young again, right?
However, if you want to be a successful lawyer upon graduation, you must be particularly careful with your studies. This doesn’t mean that you have to be at the top of your class; each law school has different expectations. However, you may want to create an excellent record that would make you seem attractive to a prospective law firm.
Knowledge is one of the strongest attires a lawyer has – this is why you must make the most of your years in college. Still, don’t focus on your grades. Law schools are looking to give you the necessary skills that you need in order to pursue a legal career. In other words, you need to focus on developing your knowledge, and aiming to become an exemplar lawyer.
To be a lawyer, you have to be a people’s person. You need to understand the way their minds work, to know how to protect their rights. And you can’t do that by continuously sticking your nose inside your books.
- Go for an Internship
As a freshly graduated college student, you will have to present a resume to the company where you want to practice law. If they see that your “experience” part of the resume is completely blank, they might choose someone else with more experience instead of you.
“But I’m still a college student! I have classes to go to!” Yes, the situation is fairly tough here. However, if you are seriously considering a successful law career, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices – and this may include your summer vacations.
Look for internships that allow you to work up your experience level. It doesn’t necessarily have to be law-related; even something as simple as editing a magazine will take you up a notch. Good writing skills are associated with the makings of a good lawyer – and considering that you’ll have many essays to write, it will help you out in the long run.
The better your grades, the more attractive you will seem in the eyes of your employer – so get yourself out there and try to improve yourself.
We know, volunteering and community work do not bring you any money, and you will practically have to kill all your time in order to slave yourself for free. Still, just like internships, this will look very good on your resume, and it will tell your potential employees that you have worked hard to get some experience.
In order to pursue the career path that you are looking for, you have to volunteer in organizations that are relevant to the discipline. Law schools usually care very much about attorneys who don’t mind spending their free time to help those in need. Moreover, some of these volunteer positions may involve campaigning, writing memos, and many other activities that could develop the right skills for a legal career.
For instance, two important skills a lawyer should have are communication and writing. You need strong communication skills in order to carry out a solicitor’s duties, and good listening abilities, to listen to your clients and build a relationship. On the other hand, writing is essential when drafting letters and legal documents. Basically, you need to know both legal and technical language to become a good lawyer. The university’s law society could help you achieve this through draft emails, writing newsletters, and others.
Participating in the student government may also be a sound choice for you, that would double as volunteering. It will show that you are an active person that is not afraid to take on a leading role – to protect the things that they believe in. It will count as experience, which will definitely look great on your resume. In addition, you will gain a set of skills that could be helpful for a lawyer career.
- Job Shadow Different Attorneys
There are many reasons why you should shadow an attorney when you’re a student. Obviously, the main motivation would be that you have the unique opportunity of analyzing how they handle the cases. This type of experience cannot be obtained by reading books – that isn’t to say reading books doesn’t have its purpose. Memorizing information means nothing if you don’t know how to use it, or put it into practice yourself.
They know how to handle even the most complicated cases, taking into account the tiniest details – which, at first, might seem insignificant. In the end, though, these are the aspects that can make the world of a difference.
If you do not know any lawyers yourself, you may want to talk with someone from your career service office. They might be able to put you in contact with someone so that you can see for yourself how it feels to be a lawyer for a few days.
Although you won’t be able to actually replace the lawyer, you will be there to observe how a process in the court goes. You can analyze every word the lawyer says, and you will gain knowledge and skills for when you’ll be an attorney yourself. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll also be asked to give your opinions in the court, as long as the judge and jury allow it.
You need to actually experience something to gain the skills required, and this is especially true when you’re pursuing a legal career. After all, you’ll be doing it to help people in need, meaning you need to get serious.
- Choose an Academically Challenging Major
If you choose the easy way out, it may not help your cause much. However, if you choose something that is slightly more academically challenging, you will look like a person that is not afraid to take on a difficult case – and it will be much easier for you to launch yourself in your career.
Furthermore, if you go for challenging majors, you will also develop skills such as critical thinking, writing, and argumentation. All of these are very important for a law career. Knowing the type of law you’re interested in could help you decide which major is right for you. For instance, psychology is good for criminal law, while business and economics are great if you are interested in corporate law. By knowing the type of law that interests you, you’ll be able to become a successful lawyer.
Author name – Shahina Parvin
BY EMMA BONNEY
Creating a bright future for yourself is a task on which every future student should focus on. Every step you make for your education should have as a final goal a successful career and private life. When you are young, you have the necessary time, energy, and motivation to invest in your self-development using every tool you can find in order to design a path which will make you become a well-shaped adult, capable of dealing with everyday responsibilities. however, in order to make sure that you get all the necessary opportunities which will lead you to success, you have to continuously study and use all your experiences to learn an important lesson which will help you deal more easily with any situation you will come across in the future. A college scholarship is definitely one of the best opportunities to get a higher education which will bring you many advantages in your future as an adult such as better career options, better payments for your future job, and a better social status. However, getting a college scholarship is a process for which you have to work hard and to successfully complete every step of it.
Start preparing for college early ahead
You need to be aware that there are going to be numerous future students who are also going to apply for a scholarship in order to get the opportunity to create a bright future for themselves. Which is why you need to make sure that you are going to be one of the most remarkable between all the applicants. In order to increase your chances of obtaining a college scholarship, you need to start preparing early ahead. High school is the best period of time to gain knowledge and develop the skills which are going to make the difference between you and the other applicants for the scholarship.
Develop your leadership skills
Usually, the students who receive a scholarship are individuals who are perceived as being future successful leaders who are going to bring a noticeable contribution to the society in which they live. A scholarship is a financial investment made in you, so the results which are being expected are incredibly high from the people who choose to invest their money in your education such as Lemberg Law is sponsoring scholarships for students interested in careers in law. Which is why you need to make sure that the skills you own are promising ones which already exist but are going to be shaped during your student years.
Before you apply for a college scholarship, you need to do your research to find the best ones which are going to be advantageous for your future as a student and as a grownup. Moreover, by doing the research you can learn what are the expectations and the requirements you need to reach in order to get a scholarship.
Write a creative scholarship essay
The scholarship essay you write for your application has a huge importance in order to get a college scholarship. The essay is the only part of the application where you get the change to show your personality and your potential. A creative essay where you can prove how motivated and passionate you are about working hard for your bright future is one of the essential steps of the process of getting a scholarship.
A bit about myself:
Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and content manage
BY ANNABEL MONAGHAN
Higher education has become a fundamental stepping stone for people seeking to become successful and independent individuals. Aside from those wishing to become bodyguards for hire who need only brawn over brains, many young people have elaborate plans for the future that require a disciplined, dedicated and focused educational career. The road to learning is a long and arduous process, filled with hurdles, such as having good time management, a healthy social life and satisfactory grades. Due to the challenges university presents, students need to pay close attention to crucial issues such as time management, balance between academic and social life, proximity and good relations with academics as well as career-based research and pre-planning as parts of the learning experience.
Setting clear career goals from the get-go
Many students are in university due to one overarching theme: to find a good job and have a good life. At one point in society, a degree would amount to a stable job. However, the current economy is bursting with degree holders with no hands-on experience. This has created a competitive environment for job-seekers and fresh graduates. To get ahead of the herd, one should take the initiative to become the employee that employers are looking for. This means finding out more about the industry through fellow alumni or counsellors, finding an internship and most of all, being active on campus. Everything you do from here on out, will define your resume and therefore, your prospective career.
The secret of success is hidden in your routine
Students often complain about early morning classes in college due to hardships of waking up, getting motivated or following class material, but such classes have their advantages as well. The first benefit in this sense is that waking up early gives the student energy and motivation to be active throughout the rest of the day, helping them achieve higher success with their academic performance. This is to say that early birds enjoy higher levels of productivity. This is mainly due to the fact that they find more time to exercise which has significant benefits for their mental health as well as their sleeping patterns.
Having a healthy sleep cycle is a good habit as a student’s ability to focus on school deteriorates during the later hours of the day. Furthermore, in the event there is no morning class, students can take the opportunity to work on their current assignments and investigate career pathways, which will ultimately help with time management.
Control over time gives you control over life
Time, everyone has a finite number of hours and minutes in a day and everyone fills them up in a different manner. In high school, one would have a fixed routine set by one’s parents or the school. Upon coming to university, many students become overwhelmed with the endless possibilities their newfound freedom has given them. While some of the more disciplined individuals might continue down a productive path, the same cannot be said for those with less self-restraint, which would lead to an over-indulgent lifestyle.
Creating a schedule, including when “free time” will be, can help in the long run. This will condition students into doing everything purposefully, as they will soon understand that they cannot afford to waste time and will set aside time for every task. Being able to construct a coherent routine for oneself is not only mature and responsible, it will also help with planning and develop critical thinking – soft skills crucial to finding a job upon graduation.
All work and no play, makes Jack and Jane dull
While it does not do to throw time away in favor of partying and seeking new connections, it is equally unwise to become a shut in and refuse all socializing. According to education PR agency Reputio, “friendships are an integral part of the college experience, helping struggling students to cope with academic pressures, social concerns and even financial troubles”.
Having reliable friends enables struggling students to change for the better and can therefore be a great source of support. When surrounded by good friends, one would undoubtedly adopt healthy and meaningful habits; the same could be said for those who find themselves in bad company. In this case, it is important for the student to recognize that his or her companions are becoming toxic to their lives and to make the decision to cut them out of his or her life.
While academics is important while at university, it is the people that makes your time on campus unforgettable. Striking a balance will ensure that you make full use of this wonderful time of new experiences and higher education.
Annabel Monaghan is a writer with a passion for education and edtech. She writes education and career articles for The College Puzzle with the aim of providing useful information for students and young professionals. If you have any questions, please feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY MIKKIE MILLS
Nothing will cramp your academic style quite like computer problems. A sick laptop makes it tough, if not impossible, to access online course information, email your professor, or write that term paper. Fortunately, keeping your computer healthy isn’t rocket science. You can prevent potential problems by taking a few important steps.
Maintain Your Hardware and Software
A few ounces of maintenance can help you avoid tons of heartache. Focus on a few key areas.
Keep a clean machine. Use a damp, lint-free cloth to clean your keyboard and accessible parts of your mouse. For a few bucks, you can pick up a can of compressed air that will blow debris from between the keys and out of ports.
Take time to install the latest operating system. Operating system updates improve both efficiency and security. Whether you use Mac or Windows, you can adjust your settings to automatically notify you when updates are available.
Opt for virus and spyware protection. Specially designed software can detect and eliminate threats to your computer. Norton and McAfee offer two of the most popular, self-updating products. Mac users are protected when they install OS updates.
Back up your data somewhere else. Computers get stolen. They crash. Back up your data to an external hard drive, USB drive, or cloud account so you don’t lose it all if the worst happens.
Be A Smart User
As a student, you no doubt spend a lot of time online: doing coursework and research, communicating with the profs, shopping, banking, and staying in touch with friends and family. Be a smart, security-conscious user!
Practice email protection. Change your password regularly, using a random password generator. Don’t click on links or open attachments from a stranger. Even if the message comes from someone you know, it’s a good idea to double check legitimacy with the sender.
Know the threats. Malware—short for “malicious software”—is a program installed on your computer without your consent—computer viruses, spyware, worms, and Trojan horses. It can be uploaded physically, via USB, or remotely, via a malicious website. Phishing attacks—emails that look legit but contain malicious links or attachments—and free media downloads are also used to deliver malware. So it’s best to avoid piracy sites and vet unfamiliar websites using Google’s Safe Browsing Check.
Be Safely Social. Phony Facebook friend requests provide an easy way to transmit malware and viruses, so be wary of strangers asking to link up. Sharing is fun, but check your privacy settings so only people you actually know can see your posts. Avoid TMI (Too Much Information) Syndrome. Any post that checks you in or out is an open invitation to all kinds of trouble. It’s all right to post your birthday, but leave off the year to foil identity thieves. Share your vacation pictures after you get back.
Be Privacy Minded
Confidential information should be just that—confidential. Keep it that way by:
- Refusing to send personal information in an email message. Phishing scam emails often ask for passwords, account numbers, and/or social security numbers.
- Resisting the urge to store payment information on retail websites. Cyber thieves love to hack into these sites to snatch personal information and/or charge purchases to your account. Type in the information, every single time.
- Limiting what you do on public Wi-Fi. Unsecured public Wi-Fi offers criminals an excellent opportunity to slip in some malware they can use to collect logins, passwords, account numbers, etc. Stick to trusted public Wi-Fi networks, and do your banking at home.
It’s fairly easy to maintain your computer and defend it from outside threats. Since your computer plays an important role in your college life—allowing you to study, conduct business, and stay in touch—keeping it healthy makes all kinds of sense!
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.
New Uncertainty on Title IX
DeVos Title IX proposal would make campus hearings into “mini courtrooms,” higher education lawyers say, with cross-examination requirements survivor advocates criticized. »
From Inside Higher Ed
Winter break is for recharging and relaxing after a grueling semester full of books, assignments and exams. There’s so much more to do than going home and eating a lot of holiday sweets, too. If you’re ready for an adventure, there are plenty to be had both in the U.S. and abroad; it just depends on what you want to do. You can take in cities, enjoy nature, get active, or pick up a hobby. Here are some creative ideas for a fun winter break.
- Visit Sweden’s Ice Hotel
Embrace the cold by visiting somewhere that makes the most of its icy climate. The ice hotel in Sweden offers both cold and warm rooms. Located in the village of Jukkasjärvi, which is north of the Arctic Circle, the hotel crafts its rooms and exhibits every year with ice from the nearby Torne River. These works of art are seasonal only, so winter is the perfect time to experience them. If Sweden is too far, consider visiting the Ice Museum in Alaska or the Hotel de Glace in Quebec.
- Learn to Surf
Not only is surfing one of the best exercises, but it’s also tons of fun. And places like Costa Rica, known for its world-famous surf breaks, are a joy to visit. All-inclusive surf resorts will offer lessons and accommodations in one package. While May is the ideal time to surf, winter boasts great surfing and warmer weather for an unusually enjoyable winter break.
- Volunteer Abroad
The few weeks between semesters can be the perfect time to have a cultural experience unlike any other by going on a volunteer trip. Various organizations offer two- to four-week volunteer opportunities in countries around the world. You can choose by country or by cause.
If you’re on a tight budget, look for volunteer opportunities closer to home. This is a good time to build your resume, test working in a field you’re considering for a profession, or simply get to know your community better.
- Become an Artist
Time off from all the reading and writing you do during school is a perfect opportunity to use your right brain and develop some creative skills—they’ll give you a perfect outlet for stress when you’re back in school, too. Many colleges offer intersession classes, so look at what yours has on the schedule or seek out classes at a nearby art school or academy. And don’t think of these as classes, but as workshops; they’re less about the grade than about you enjoying a new activity.
- Be a house sitter
Winter break is often when students spend time with their families, but if yours is too far away or you just want something different, consider getting a house sitting gig or two in a city you want to visit. These opportunities often involve pet sitting, as well, so it’s a good option if you enjoy animals. This is a great way to check out a new part of the country.
- Take a road trip
A road trip with friends is a fantastic bonding experience and the kind of adventure you’ll cherish after college is over and you have to settle down into a job somewhere. Check out these road trip ideas if you don’t know where you want to go. Or, use roadtrippers.com to plan the ride you’ve been dreaming about.
- See a country by horseback
Touring a country on a horse is an entirely different experience than seeing it by car or train. Riding holidays are available for beginners as well as more experienced riders. With destinations around the world, you’ll be able to choose what kind of country (and weather) you want to enjoy over winter break.
- Go on an eco-friendly vacation
Destinations around the world offer eco-friendly hotels and lodges. Check out Treebones Resort in Big Sur, California, which offers guest tents with sky domes and uses clean-burning turbines to generate electricity. If you’d like to travel abroad, Kasbah du Toubkal in Morocco, set at the foot of the highest peak in North Africa, offers lodge rooms as well as accommodations at a remote trekking lodge.
- Stay in a treehouse hotel
Want to feel even closer to nature? Book a stay at a treehouse hotel. You can find these both locally and internationally, so you’ll be able to create whatever kind of experience you want. If you’re an avid hiker/trekker, staying at one of these destinations puts you right in the middle of the woods so you can get a lot of exercise over your break.
The kind of winter break you have is really only limited by your imagination (and your budget). Whether you want to seriously relax or get out and see some sights, there’s a perfect vacation waiting for you.
Hilary is a freelance writer, small business owner, and a perpetual student of life. She loves to write about everything from tech to travel and health. You can follow her on Twitter @TypewriterHil
BY DAVID GUTIERREZ
Typical classroom teaching consisted of a teacher standing in front of students and presenting a lecture. Students are then required to answer questions, do homework, and complete regularly scheduled exams. But what if this traditional form of learning isn’t as effective as we think? Does inquiry-based learning make more sense? In many settings, it’s the ideal solution.
What is Inquiry-Based Learning?
Whether you’re a student, educator, parent, or administrator, we’re all constantly on the lookout for ways to improve engagement and knowledge retention. We spend time structuring time and creating study schedules. We optimize our physical environments, so they’re conducive to learning. We do hundreds of little things to maximize education.
Within the classroom, there are numerous strategies and techniques, but one of the trends that’s growing in popularity is inquiry-based learning.
“Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process,” GradePower Learning explains. “Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas.”
With inquiry-based learning, also known as problem-based learning, lectures take a backseat to small-group discussions, guided learning, projects, and hands-on exploration. It’s about giving students a chance to be proactive and learn through action and responsibility.
“In terms of student achievement, the power of their question should help drive the research, the writing, and the presentation,” Heather Wolpert-Gawron writes for Edutopia. “It should help motivate them to become experts in their self-described field. And the more often a student gets a taste of what it feels like to be an expert, in however small a concept, the more they will want that feeling later on in life.”
At the heart of inquiry-based learning is the desire to increase engagement. Whether it accomplishes this goal depends on who you ask. There are some pros and some cons – each of which must be weighed against one another.
The Advantages of Inquiry-Based Learning
Inquiry-based learning has been used at every level from elementary to university with varying levels of success, but it’s easy to see what the advantages are:
- Greater Interest. Let’s begin with, perhaps, the biggest pro. When students are allowed to ask questions and guide the direction of the curriculum, they’re going to express more significant interest in the subject matter. This gets them more excited about being there and makes it more likely they’ll pay attention (and do so for longer periods of time).
- Teaches problem-solving. At the heart of inquiry-based learning is an inquisition. And not only are students encouraged to ask questions, but they’re told to find the answers. Considering that problem-solving skills are valuable in every industry and specialty, this style of learning prepares students for the real world like few others.
- Enhances teamwork skills. With this teaching style, students are taught to engage with one another, work in groups, and tackle problems together. This leads to greater teamwork skills – something that proves useful in most areas of life.
- Long-term knowledge retention. Research shows that elaboration at the time of learning – such as fact sharing and conversations – enhance the retrieval of information at a later date. This indicates that inquiry-based learning leads to greater long-term knowledge retention.
In certain classrooms, inquiry-based learning works exceptionally well. These tend to be classrooms where students have reached a certain level of maturity and have the ability to work both independently and jointly (often without instructor intervention).
The Disadvantages of Inquiry-Based Learning
In theory, inquiry-based learning is a perfect system that maximizes engagement and gives students a chance to extract meaning and purpose from their education. However, the problem with theoretical learning strategies is they don’t always stand the test of real-world application.
Here are some of the disadvantages associated with this learning style.
- Poorer standardized testing performance. When too much time is dedicated to student inquiries, there’s always the risk that important “core” topics could be left out. Naturally, this hurts standardized testing performance. And in a world where standardized exams play a key role in school accreditation and funding, this can become a real problem.
- Student embarrassment. In inquiry-based learning, students are required to speak up and participate. For the most part, this is a good thing. However, there’s also the risk of embarrassing students who may not be quick thinkers (or who suffer from learning disabilities and processing issues).
- Teacher unpreparedness. For certain teachers, inquiry-based learning is too haphazard. It prevents them from being able to prepare properly, which hurts their ability to engage students on a meaningful level. And any time a teacher is unprepared, the classroom suffers as a result.
Clearly, inquiry-based learning isn’t a perfect solution. As is the case with any teaching/learning style, there are challenges that must be worked through.
The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons?
The Pursuit of Greater Engagement
Greater engagement should always be the goal in the classroom. Some students are naturally smarter than others. Some students will perform better on exams than others. Lumping everyone into one category is impossible. Engagement, however, supersedes all of these facts and is something that we should seek to capitalize on in each individual case.
Though there is no perfect solution, inquiry-based learning does seem to maximize engagement in ways that traditional styles of learning do not. This makes it worthy of consideration in classrooms at all levels of the education system.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.
BY Andrew Heikkila
Just like you had your pre-interview steps, you have a couple things to do afterward as well. Sending a proper thank you, following up in the appropriate fashion, and continuing the job search while you wait to hear back are all excellent post-interview practices.
Say “Thank You”
Sure, you may have already said “thanks” when you shook the recruiter’s hand and walked out the door, but you want to leave a lasting impression. Avoid text messages or other informal means of communication, such as social media messaging. Your best bet is likely an email or a snail-mailed letter, though executive director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University, Lynne Sarikas thinks one is definitely superior to the other, according to Joel Schwartzberg, writing for Media Bistro:
“I have employers tell me all the time what a difference a handwritten thank you note makes,” says Sarikas. “Those are the candidates they remember, and if they’re having trouble deciding between two candidates, the thank you note can tip the scale.”
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you send it digitally by email or post a handwritten note, what matters is that you send it, and that you send it sooner rather than later. When you write the note, remember to:
- Thank them for their time and consideration
- Restate your interest in the position as well as in working for the organization as a whole
- Mention anything that you might have learned during the interview, and how that may have affected your view of the position or company.
- Very briefly summarize why you think you’d make a good fit for the company.
- Give them up to date contact information, and tell them that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.
Even if, for some reason, you think that you’re not going to get the job, send the thank you note. If another position opens up in the future, this only increases your chances that the recruiter may reach back out to you in the future.Follow Up
After you send the thank you note, rest easy for a bit — everything is pretty much out of your hands at this point. Wait about a week before you follow up with recruiter, if you haven’t heard anything by then.
You can follow up either by email or phone, though email will likely lead to more waiting. Be polite, let them know you’re checking in on the position, and even utilize this opportunity to better your chances.
“You can use this message not just to check in, but to give the decision-maker even more info that’ll show you’re the right person for the job,” writes Adrian Granzella Larssen for The Muse. Her article on following up after an interview contains example emails and can be found here.
Be Patient, Keep Looking, and Don’t Give Up
You know how they say you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket? The same follows in this instance. Instead of waiting around on somebody else, continue to actively seek out other jobs. The more irons in the fire you have, the better the chance that you’ll get a job you want.
Lastly, while you’re waiting — and really throughout the entire job hunting phase — mind your manners and be aware of your public image, especially as portrayed through the lens of social media.
You might get rejected from the first couple of positions you apply to, but THIS IS NORMAL. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Use your interviews as learning opportunities, and don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback.
By utilizing this process and perfecting on it, you’ll secure and nail that interview, and become a proud part of the workforce in no time.
Andrew Heikkila is a Millennial (whatever that means), a writer, an artist and musician, and a small business owner. He believes in the power of change and the power of people. By combining those two elements, he believes, anything is possible. Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyO_TheHammer
By Andrew Heikkila
So you’ve arrived at your interview, on time, and dressed to impress. What next?
As soon as you arrive, be mindful, and be on your best behavior. Even before the interview begins, your disposition in the waiting room might be under scrutiny.
When you are met for the interview, project confidence. Establish eye contact and smile, and give a firm (but not too firm) handshake if offered. Turn off your cell phone, and prepare for questions.
Throughout this process, you’ll want to be mindful of all your behaviors — including nonverbal communication. Nevertheless, don’t let that make you stiff. You need to be aware, but relaxed. Throughout the interview, remember:
- Sit up straight, but don’t look uncomfortable or unnatural. Look attentive, and avoid fidgeting, twiddling thumbs, foot tapping, etc.
- Maintain good eye contact, but try to avoid staring. Lack of eye contact can come across as unprofessional, inattentive, or a sign of disinterest.
- Feel free to talk with your hands and gestures, but don’t overdo it.
- Don’t let reactions or subconscious behavior betray you — excitement and disappointment are healthy to express in a managed way.
- Lastly, no matter how successful you think the interview is going or how “chummy” the recruiters might be, don’t say things that are sexist, offensive, or simply inappropriate for the office.
The object of any interview is to get to know a candidate via series of questions and answers. Read through a couple of lists of common interview questions by searching for them online, and think about how you might answer them. Don’t memorize responses word for word to avoid sounding mechanical. Instead think about why the interviewer is asking that question and what they’re trying to determine from it in relation to the position you’re applying for.
“Simply spending some time thinking through what you might say, or examples you could share in response to those common questions, should be enough to help you prepare and still sound natural in your responses,” write the experts at Ohio University. They list four standard interview questions that you’ll probably encounter, regardless of industry or position.
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Can you give an example of a time when you encountered a difficult situation and how you handled it?
- Describe yourself.
- Why should we hire you?
When in the interview, try to keep your answers detailed, but concise. Don’t meander around the questions. Instead, answer directly and certainly.
An interview is not a one way street. While the recruiter has been using this opportunity to determine whether you might be a good fit for the position and organization, too many people pass up on the opportunity to do the same. Asking your own questions will help you determine whether you think you’d be a good fit for the company, and will also demonstrate initiative on your part. Here are a couple of sample questions:
- What does the average day-to-day look like? Ask about responsibilities, schedules, and expectations to better understand exactly how you’d be spending your day.
- What direction is the company headed in? This question simultaneously gives you a feel for what a future at the company might look like, and demonstrates that you’re forward thinking.
- What does your employee turnover look like? If employee turnover is high, there’s a reason. Employees might be dissatisfied, or could be prone to leaving for higher pay in the same position. If it’s high, ask why.
- What are the biggest challenges the company or department are currently facing? This will give you a clear view of what you’re up against if you end up with the position.
- What do you love most about working here? This will give you insight on the company’s culture — if the recruiter has a hard time answering, you might too later on.
- Is there anything about my background or resume that makes you question whether I’d be a good fit? This question allows you to address any final apprehensions that the interviewer may have, and also shows that you’re serious about getting the job. It also shows that you can handle criticism and analysis.
- What Happens Now? This is a great question to end the interview with, because you’ll hear directly from the recruiter what your next steps will be. Whether that’s waiting for a call on a follow up interview, submitting to pre-employment testing, or signing the employment papers right then and there, you won’t be in the dark.
There are different types of pre-employment testing that you might want to be prepared to take. While these aren’t the types of tests that you can necessarily study for, their outcomes could heavily affect whether or not you’re hired.
Background Check & Pre-Employment Drug Testing
Many employers require pre-employment drug testing as well as a background check on all applicants, either due to company policy, state law, or both. Sometimes hiring is contingent upon passing a drug and alcohol screen, though this has been complicated by state’s rights and the legalization of cannabis. If you’re serious about the job and want to hedge your bets, assume that the company has a zero-tolerance policy on illicit drug use. You’ll have to provide prescriptions to the testing center for reference.
The background checks that employees run will generally consist of:
- Criminal Records
- Credit Report
- Driving Records
- Education Records
- Employment Records
- Identity Validation
- Personal Information
- Military Records
Certain adverse information may disqualify you from the position. More extensive information concerning background checks can be found here.
Tests to measure a candidate’s potential and/or ability to execute specific operations may or may not be administered. If they are, they might be given before the interview to weed out candidates that aren’t technically proficient with applicable skills. On the other hand, they may be given after, if the company is soft-skill focused.
There is no one standard for aptitude or hiring tests — they come in many varieties. However, they are all essentially geared to measure traits of employees that the specific organization deems important. For example, Kavita Verma, in an article for CosmoBC, writes about Predictive Index testing, and the parameters that PI tests evaluate. She writes that Predictive Index tests judge on the basis of:
- Dominance: Candidates who score high here are assertive, self-confident and independent. Likewise, those who score low are more likely to be cooperative, manageable, and accommodating.
- Extroversion: Those who display extrovertive traits are more outgoing, persuasive and socially-poised. Introverts, on the other hand, generally keep to themselves, work well alone, and are less likely to get distracted chatting at the water cooler all day.
- Patience: This will measure how consistent and stable a candidate is, and is highly valued in customer service roles. If the candidates score low here, they are likely better suited for a high-intensity, fast-paced line of work
- Formality: This will measure how well the candidate will conform to the rules and structure of the company. Some organizations are strong on formality, while others prefer a more loosey-goosey company culture and atmosphere.
Once the interview is officially over, you can breathe deep — but not too deep! You’re not done yet. See part 3 on November 16.
Andrew Heikkila is a Millennial (whatever that means), a writer, an artist and musician, and a small business owner. He believes in the power of change and the power of people. By combining those two elements, he believes, anything is possible. Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyO_TheHammer
On Nov 12, 2018, at 12:42 PM, Michael W Kirst <email@example.com> wrote:
I can post these Thursday and